Teen and young adult clients are sometimes curious about the benefits of working with a therapist experienced in expressive therapy modalities. People often think that creative interventions such as play therapy and sandtray therapy are “just for kids.” Today, let’s dive in to this subject a little deeper.
Expressive therapy helps clients, well, express themselves.
This sounds so obvious I had to make it the heading for this section. Talk therapy is a wonderful tool, but sometimes it is not quite enough to help create the meaningful breakthroughs that can be truly transformative in clients’ lives. With careful planning by a trained, skilled therapist, integrating techniques such as art, play, and sandtray can have a profound impact throughout the lifespan. At Nourish Counseling Studio, LLC, these interventions are frequently implemented to help older clients see their world through a new lens. Here are three ways that expressive therapies can have a profound impact in the therapeutic process.
1. Playful therapy techniques can be less intimidating than other therapeutic modalities.
This is so important for clients to understand. Once a strong, trusting therapeutic relationship is established, clients can often dig deeper when using objects rather than words to express themselves. In the sandtray, clients can discover feelings they were previously unaware of and communicate things in a way that can shift their entire perspective. This can lead to more significant progress and some major breakthroughs.
2. Playful techniques can help clients learn to self-regulate.
When teaching new coping skills, integrating an expressive approach can facilitate understanding and increase a client’s readiness to implement new strategies. Through the healing power of art, sandtray, and other playful techniques, teens and young adults can work through challenges that can be hard to verbalize. Even though these older clients can put words to their feelings, it can still be quite difficult to name those deep feelings that lead to pain, anxiety, and feelings of decreased self-esteem.
3. Clients can relax and learn to enjoy the therapeutic process.
Therapy is hard work. There is no denying it. However, when a trained therapist and a trusting client integrate expressive techniques into the therapy room, the process can be more fun. When people are laughing and playing, this is an intensely healing process. Clients can not only have a good time, but can also experience the healing power of play.
As you can see, expressive therapy options such as play therapy and sandtray therapy can work wonders for clients of many ages. People often think these interventions are reserved only for children, but many can benefit from play.
If you would like to get started on your creative journey to wellness, reach out today!